In scarcely 45 minutes EID management’s proposed $1.7 million gross spending budget increase for 2012 received Harry Norris’ enthusiastic support at the Oct. 24 EID board meeting.
Did Harry challenge management’s opening spending proposal? No! Does Harry ever get into budget “nitty-gritty”? No! “Ratepayers for Norris”? I can’t imagine why.
In the last eight years, EID overhead has “sky-rocketed” $10 million. The 2012 budget Harry “rubber-stamped” will add another $1.2 million increase in overhead.
Previously, on Sept. 26, Harry similarly approved management’s initial proposal to increase the 2012 capital plan by $2 million to $21 million … again in less than one hour. EID already is planning another $60 million in new debt even though debt costs already account for 35 percent of rates.
The price of all these spending increases to ratepayers? Well, General Manager Abercrombie’s current charts project a 28 percent residential water increase for 2012 and another 11 percent for 2013. But Finance Director Mark Price now acknowledges that property tax subsidies will be $900,000 lower than in the current rate projections. Short of “smoke and mirrors” accounting gimmicks, the 28 percent water rate increase may need to go even higher for 2012.
EID’s current directors are far too quick, and with superficial interrogation, to approve management’s endless unaffordable spending excesses. So vote for your wallet on Nov. 8. Send Harry into retirement and vote for new EID directors who know the value of a dollar and will stand up for ratepayer wallets.